Dear Friends and Well-wishers,
The twelfth ‘Auro Ratna Award’ ceremony was held on Monday, 21 November 2022 at ‘Vraja’, the residence of Shrimati Shyam Kumari, noted author and senior inmate of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, who was presented with the ‘Auro Ratna Award’ for the year 2022 for her invaluable contribution in the fields of research and education.
The occasion was graced by Dr. Larry Seidlitz (renowned Aurobindonian scholar, author of books like The Spiritual Evolution of the Soul, Integral Yoga at Work and Transforming Lives and former Editor of the US-based journal Collaboration), Dr. Satish of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Shrimati Swati Ghose (translator of the writings of Nolini Kanta Gupta), Shrimati Ramola Banerjee, Shrimati Gopa De (Trustee, Sri Aurobindo Sadhak Sangha, Shibpur, West Bengal) and family members of Shyam Kumari.
The ceremony began at 4 p.m. The objectives of the ‘Auro Ratna Award’ were stated by Shrimati Swati Ghosh who, along with Shrimati Ramola Banerjee, represented the Overman Foundation, and spoke about the life and literary achievements of Shyam Kumari.
‘Shyam Kumari was born on 19 December 1934 in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. There she studied in the Vedic Putri Pathshala and S. D. Degree College up to her B.A. In 1965 she passed her M.A. from Lucknow University. Since her childhood, she yearned to find God. In 1969, the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, accepted her as an inmate of the Ashram and appointed her a teacher in the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education.
‘Shyam Kumari is a prolific writer who has authored more than seventy books in English and Hindi. Hundreds of her poems, lyrics, stories, plays, literary and social essays have appeared in national and international journals. Some of her notable books in English include titles like Vignettes of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, More Vignettes of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Beautiful Vignettes of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, How They Came to Sri Aurobindo and the Mother in four volumes, Musings on the Mother’s Prayers and Meditations in three volumes, Sunlit Days, Sweet Steps, Towards Light, Teacher’s Guide to Sunlit Days, Sweet Steps and Towards Light. Her books in Hindi include titles like Bharat, Vishwa aur Manavta ka Bhavishya — Sri Aravind evam Sri Ma kay Alok may, Bhagwan Ki Oar in two parts, Sri Arvind Aur Sri Ma Ki Divya Lila in two parts, Gulab Ki Pankhuriyan (an anthology of 21 stories), Aparajita (a collection of 24 stories and 2 plays). Prem Divani (a collection of 35 stories and 2 plays), Jeenay Ki Kala in two parts, Anupam Kahaniya in four parts, Madhur Kahaniya in two parts, Shishu Rang Tarang, Nav Bal Rang Tarang in two parts and Nav Rag Anurag. Many of her books have been translated into Hindi, Oriya, Tamil, Bengali, Marathi and Gujarati. She has written path-breaking rhymes and story books for children. In 1998, she launched a Hindi quarterly magazine named Swarna Hansa, which she single-handedly wrote, edited and published for twenty years.
‘In 1998, Shyam Kumari established Vraja Trust, a public charitable trust and is presently its Managing Trustee. In 2001, she started Sri Aravinda Sanskrit Vidyalaya in Pondicherry to impart free Sanskrit education to children and adults alike and she is its Chairperson. In 2005, she launched the “Let Each School Adopt a Hero” scheme which were followed by schemes like “Let Us Honour Our Soldiers” and “Let Each Child Become a Hero Warrior” in 2006.’
Following the invitation of Shrimati Swati Ghose, Shyam Kumari was presented with the angavasram, award-certificate and trophy by Dr. Larry Seidlitz.
With warm regards,